Britain must keep up support for Kyiv amid ‘Ukraine fatigue’ – PM Boris Johnson

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It is important Britain continues to show it is supporting Ukraine for the long haul, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday, warning of a risk of “Ukraine fatigue” as the war drags on.

“The Russians are grinding forward inch by inch and it is vital for us to show what we know to be true which is that Ukraine can win and will win,” Johnson told reporters on his arrival back in Britain from a visit to Kyiv.

Some members of his Conservative Party had criticised him for making the trip instead of attending a conference in northern England.

“When Ukraine fatigue is setting in, it is very important to show that we are with them for the long haul and we are giving them the strategic resilience that they need,” Johnson said.

Downing Street said the UK-led training scheme would have the potential to train up to 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers every 120 days and would allow them to “accelerate their deployment, rebuild their forces and scale-up their resistance”.

Soldiers would learn “battle-winning skills for the front line, as well as basic medical training, cyber-security and counter explosive tactics”.

The government added international partners would also be invited to host the programme.

If the offer is accepted by Mr Zelensky there would be discussions about the size of the training operation, which is expected to take place outside of Ukraine.

The previous Operation Orbital saw the UK train more than 22,000 Ukrainian personnel from 2015 up until the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Photo –  A handout photo made available by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) welcoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson prior to a meeting in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine, 17 June 2022. During his visit to Kyiv, Johnson offered to launch a major training operation for Ukrainian forces. EPA-EFE/UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT 

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